Letter dated 10 February 2016 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

In my capacity as Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Group, I have the honour to transmit herewith a press statement issued by the OIC Ambassadorial Group on 10 February 2016 concerning the plight of the Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qiq, whose life is in imminent danger owing to his prolonged hunger strike to protest his administrative detention by the Israeli occupation authorities (see annex).

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the present letter and its annex distributed as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 55.

(Signed) Abdulaziz Aljarallah
 
Chargé d'affaires a.i.


Annex to the letter dated 10 February 2016 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

Press statement

The Ambassadorial Group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses its grave concern over the alarming reports about the seriously deteriorating health conditions and well-being of the Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qiq, who has been on a continuous hunger strike for 77 days in protest against his arbitrary punishment of administrative detention by the Israeli occupation authorities. It is being reported that Mr. Al-Qiq's health is in serious danger owing to torture and confinement conditions being imposed on him in Israeli detention. He has been hospitalized because of severe deterioration in his health, including internal bleeding of organs and low blood sugar.

Similar to several hundreds of Palestinian civilians, Mr. Muhammad Al-Qiq is a victim of the arbitrary punishment of administrative detention and is being held by Israel without charge or trial by administrative order and not by judicial decree. As the occupying Power, Israel is responsible for the safety and well-being of Mr. Muhammad Al-Qiq and must be compelled to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law without exception.

In this regard, it must be underscored that resorting to administrative detention blatantly violates prohibitions imposed by international law. In blatant violation of the law, Israel, the occupying Power, has administratively detained thousands of Palestinians for prolonged periods without informing them of their charges and repeatedly renewing their detention while preventing the detainees and their legal counsel from examining so-called "secret evidence", preventing them from mounting a defence and obstructing their access to due process of the law. Such actions make a mockery of the protections specified in international law to protect the rights of prisoners and detainees, including in situations of foreign occupation.

In addition to being held in administrative detention without charge, Palestinian administrative detainees are being subjected to various other kinds of violations and mistreatment. This includes, inter alia, physical and psychological mistreatment, including beatings, forced interrogation, humiliation, solitary confinement and torture; captivity in unhygienic and unsanitary conditions; denial of adequate access to education, medical care and family visits; and denial of due process of the law, all in grave breach of Israel's obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the provisions of relevant human rights treaties.

In view of the above critical situation, the OIC Ambassadorial Group appeals to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and all members of the Security Council to urgently call upon Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately release the Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qiq, whose life is in danger, and to cease all its human rights violations against the more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees in its jails, including men, women and children. The international community has clear obligations in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions and cannot remain silent on this urgent situation.

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